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Team Building Lessons from Prehistoric Man (Part 2)

By Guest Author On March 1, 2011 Under Success Secrets

By Arthur F. Carmazzi


The Stages of our Evolution into Awakened Team Members – Team Leadership

Stage 1: Acknowledge the Primitive Caveman in You:

Have a look at your behavior in the past days. How many times have you gone against your better judgment to “go with the flow”? Discover your need to belong to the group, to be accepted by your pears. How has this need manifested itself in your interaction with others? What has it restrained from gaining? Would your relationships really be damaged if you expressed your views and opinions or confronted someone else’s potentially bad decision, or is it possible you would get more respect. As a leader, is it more important for you to be liked than to get the expected results?

By reflecting on the behaviors you have exhibited in the past, and realizing the damage you are doing to your personal effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around you, you can see the primitive caveman for what he is. This is the first step in your evolution.


Stage 2: Soothing the Significant Caveman:

Now the caveman in you has become more expressive. You tell people what you want and how it should be. The problem is they react to you. There are two types of reactions you receive:

  1. If you speak out with low level of confidence and conviction, your evolution is just in actions and not in mindset. Others react to you with insignificance; they make you wrong or unimportant. They do not pay much attention to you and you will accomplish little. Your actions are the beginning but it is very essential for you to be steady and find your conviction. Imagine the alternative if you do not… Extinction!
  2. You have the conviction and the confidence and now need to show how great you are and how much better than everyone else your ideas and abilities are. Others react by rebelling, some rebel externally and create open conflict. Others rebel internally and while they quietly go along with what you say, it appears to them that they have been treated with insignificance, that you make them wrong or unimportant. Here your ability to overcome fear of not being accepted has brought you to this stage, but now you must learn to apply it effectively.

Now you can find yourself at the second stage as your significance is central to your being, you tend to react to others that “appear” to take it away from you. This gives rise to confrontation and brings out the caveman in your other team members. Then they react back and just make a big mess! So before you can transcend to stage three, you must awaken to the reactions that YOU create. Knowing you weaknesses is the foundation to your evolution. FIRST though, you are required to acknowledge that you are the source of much of this reaction. IT’S NOT OTHER PEOPLES FAULT! Don’t make others wrong so you can be important! You need to take full responsibility before anything can change. If you find then you may have some other more effective ways to satisfy your need for significance.

Significance is about having the feelings of importance, so what if you had the potentiality to make others feel important, the ability to bring out the best in them, their passion, and their motivation? Would you get gratification from this power? Would you get significance from the better overall results that could be achieved?


Stage 3: Keeping the Caveman Away from Your Team:

The caveman shows up when your modern (intelligent) brain shuts off. The more you can keep it on, the less time the caveman spends with your team.

This is important to remember that when the caveman shows up, he brings out the caveman in the rest of your team members. And before you notice it, you’ve got a group of cavemen either beating each other or hiding in the background. So STOP IT!

The key to using the Intelligent portion of your brain, is to locate the areas that have a possibility to create reaction and tagging them with a “caveman alarm”.

List the factors that make you frustrated, angry, submissive, fearful, etc. Put this list in a place where you will often see it. There is a part of your brain that preserves this knowledge in your subconscious, so when one of these issues comes up and you start to react (using the primitive part of your brain), you remember the list and you remember that you may be permitting the caveman out. At this time the intelligent part of your brain triggers and helps you to work through the issue in an evolved manner.


Stage 4: Evolving into the Awakened Team Member:

This stage can help you to prevent the caveman from coming out in you. You have gone beyond your primitive emotional reactions to “fear of not being accepted” and “fear of not being important”. It is not necessary for you to be always right, and you don’t make others wrong. You don’t keep yourself away from conflict as you’re scared about others won’t like you or your need to belong.

You have awaked to an evolved individual that has the capability of thinking and acting without fear, an individual that gives value to the team instead exploiting them for your personal emotional gratification. You take action in place of reaction. You have nurtured the courage of an evolved individual.

Still a number of individuals of your team often react. At this stage, you understand them more, as a result you don’t react to their reactions. You can make use of the intelligent part of your brain instead of the primitive reactive part. So how can you influence those around you that do react?

Look at the way you express yourself. Knowing that the caveman can come out in others instantaneously, how would you communicate when others react, what would you do or say to make the caveman in these team members go away?

Well first, it is essential for you to determine what stage in evolution they’re at. Knowing this gives you the understanding of what they fear. Do they fear losing their security and acceptance the team provides, or do they fear being unimportant, insignificant? This knowledge provides the platform for you to help them meet these emotional needs and put aside their fears.

Second, give them this article for disclosure of your objectives and awareness of what’s happening. If you all have the same understanding, it becomes easier to obtain results as a team. And, as this Team centered article is based on the Directive Communication™ psychology, attending Directive Communication™ based workshops would speed up the process. Find a DC practitioner near you at: www.directivecommunication.com

Finally, use questions to fill there emotional needs of belonging and significance. Ask questions, DO NOT teach or lecture. Discover how your team members fill these needs and how the team can support each member in gaining them without the caveman.

The journey to the evolution of highly productive teams is scattered with the angry beatings and quiet disillusionment of cavemen everywhere. Effectiveness is against our nature. Only in the face of our inadequacies can we evolve, can we increase our capacity to be intelligent in our actions, and can we assist others in there evolution.

The blessings of this growth is a happier, less stressful, and more productive life.

The result of not evolving, are a life full of reaction, stress and un-fulfillment.

The caveman will always be in you, the question is would you really like him around in your teams, friends, and families?

Today, evolution is an option.



Arthur F. Carmazzi, Founder of the Directive Communication  Organizational Change Methodology and Ranked as one of the Global Top 10 most influential Leadership Gurus by Gurus International. Arthur specializes in psychological approaches to leadership and corporate culture transformation. He is a renowned International Speaker and bestselling author of “The 6 Dimensions of Top Achievers”, “Identity Intelligence and “Lessons from the Monkey King”, “The Psychology of Selecting the RIGHT Employee, and “The Colored Brain Communication Field Manual.

More Leadership Training from Arthur Carmazzi can be found at: www.directivecommunication.com and  www.carmazzi.net

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